Stewardship Update, November 30, 2020


On behalf of the Stewardship and Budget Committee I am pleased to give this update on Westminster’s stewardship campaign. The campaign officially ended on Sunday, November 15 when we celebrated God’s may blessings to us as a community of faith, and the generosity of our members and friends in supporting God’s work here at Westminster. Thanks to your support, our stewardship campaign is succeeding. We received a total of 78 pledges, including 21 new or renewed pledges, and two-thirds of those continuing their pledge increased it. Thank you to all who have pledged for the first time, increased your pledge, and sustained your pledge during these difficult times. We can all be proud of this accomplishment!


The theme of our campaign was “say yes, to Westminster’s future”, and thanks to your response we can be assured that Westminster’s finances are sound and its vital programs of ministry and mission will continue into the future. For the past decade or more we have relied too heavily on the church’s endowment to support the ongoing operating costs of the church, and this is simply not sustainable long term. Achieving a sustainable budget required some careful savings and greater reliance on financial support by our members. This will enable us to reduce the annual draw on our endowment from the recent 10 percent rate to a more sustainable 6 percent in 2021.


As of Monday, November 30 we currently have $194,335 in pledges, which is 95% of our $203,000 goal. While we have come so much farther than the past several years, we are currently nearly $9,000 short of our goal. However, I am still hopeful we will make it. We are still accepting pledges if you haven’t already done so, and we welcome any increase in the pledges you have already made.


This is the time of year when many charitable organizations are asking for year-end gifts. In fact, Tuesday is known as “Giving Tuesday”. In this season of giving, and during the coming week please consider an additional gift to Westminster, either as a special year-end gift now, or by increasing your pledge for next year. Here is the challenge; if 35 of us could give an additional $250, we could reach our goal. If you are able to give more, only seventeen additional gifts of $500 would be needed to close the gap. Please be assured that additional gifts of any amount will go a long way and are graciously accepted.


To that end, Claudia and I are increasing our pledge again. I invite you to join us in this effort, and say “YES to Westminster’s Future”.


Thank you!

Leif Hartmark,

member Stewardship and Budget Committee

Leif and Claudia Hartmark have been members of Westminster since 1982. In 2010 Leif retired from a career in higher education administration including Director of Planning at SUNY Albany, and Vice President for Finance and Administration at SUNY Oneonta, where among other responsibilities he served as Treasurer of the College Foundation. He has been on the Board of the Honest Weight Food Coop and currently serves on the Investment Committee for Wildwood Programs. Leif was an elder for four terms and Clerk of Session for two years. He is currently a member of the Board of Trustees, the Personnel Committee, the Stewardship and Budget Committee, the Investment Committee, and the Reopening planning team. Leif enjoys helping with some of the administrative work of our church and he is thankful for the opportunity to sing in Westminster’s outstanding choir. Leif and Claudia love spending time with their four grandchildren, attending concerts, doing odd projects around the house, and sailing or kayaking in the summer and cross country skiing -- the Lord willing and the snow may come.

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